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Domain hack

Domaining Guide

Domain hack

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A domain hack is an unconventional domain name that combines domain labels, especially the top-level domain (TLD), to spell out the full "name" or title of the domain, making a kind of pun.

For example the second-level domain (SLD) blo.gs makes use of the TLD .gs (South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands) to spell "blogs". The third-level domains del.icio.us and cr.yp.to make use of the SLDs icio.us and yp.to from the TLDs .us (United States) and .to (Tonga) to spell "delicious" and "crypto" respectively.

In this context, the "hack" represents a clever trick (as in programming), not an exploit or break-in (as in security).

Shorter domain names

Domain hacks offer the ability to produce extremely short domain names. A popular real world example is blo.gs with five letters total, versus the comparable blogs.com with eight letters or the often preferred www.blogs.com with eleven letters. Domain hacks default to the omission of the www. prefix, with the side effect of shortening the domain name, as every letter is taken into account as the site's title.

History

On Monday, November 23, 1992, inter.net was registered [1]. On Friday, May 3, 2002, icio.us was registered to create del.icio.us, the most visited domain hack, with the prepending of the "del" third-level domain.

Yahoo! acquired blo.gs[2] on June 14, 2005, and del.icio.us[3] on December 9, 2005.

Who.is is a whois server, indicating the registered ownership information of a domain. It was established June 12, 2002 and registered to an address in Reykjavík as the .is extension is nominally Iceland.

Whocalled.us, a consumer-complaint site listing telephone numbers of known telemarketers, was first registered in 2005.

Other languages

Domain hacks are by no means restricted to the English language.

Some years ago, a passing fad amongst French-speakers was to register their names in the Niue TLD .nu, which led to so-and-so.NU, which in French and Portuguese means "nude" or "naked"; however, as of 2007, Niue authorities have revoked many of these domain names. Likewise, Dutch, Swedish and Danish speakers sometimes use .nu, as it means 'now' in these languages.

Another French-speaking example is teu.be, where "teube" can be translated by "dumb" or "dick" in English. Louez.ça, which means «rent that», is a listing of rental properties in Montréal, Canada.

German examples are Schokola.de (chocolate), Autom.at or fals.ch (wrong).

Some organisations situated in Switzerland uses TLDs to specifically refer to their canton (like the Belgian TLD .be for the Canton of Berne).

An Afrikaans example is dieInter.net - "die" meaning "the" in English (The Internet). Email addresses in this domain can then be expressed as "user at the internet".

A Portuguese example is vai.lá, which is equivalent to the go.to in English. Another is notici.as, where «noticias» means "news".

In Russian, the perevodov.net ("No translations") is a translation portal.

In Slovak, rozbaľ.to ("Unpack it") is the home page of a prepaid Internet access service.

In Slovenian, the najdi.si ("Find it yourself") is a popular local search engine.

A Gibraltarian example is gibtele.com - The phone company in Gibraltar is called Gibtelecom and they have used the .com to their advantage.

Criticisms

Using domain hacks weakens the usefulness of country code TLDs. With domain hacks, it becomes harder to judge the country of origin of a website by just looking at the TLD. Breaking up a domain name to subdomains and/or the URL pathname most often renders the actual domain name meaningless and breaks against good naming conventions.

Some domain hacks are difficult to remember until you become familiar with them, such as del.icio.us. A common typo is to type the periods in the incorrect location. (To counteract this, del.icio.us has also registered the delicious.com and delicio.us domain names which forward to their site.)

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Whois domain search [4]
  2. ^ Winstead, Jim. blo.gs: sold June 14, 2005.
  3. ^ Schachter, Joshua. del.icio.us: y.ah.oo! December 9, 2005.

External links

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  • Domain Hacks Suggest - 300,000+ domain hack suggestions (filtered by first letter, word length, and TLD)
  • Domain hunting - 220,000+ domain ideas (requires executing a Perl script to generate domain hack suggestions)
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Registration & Hosting

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Domaining Guide, made by MultiMedia | Websites for sale

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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